Was Phylicia Barnes death an accident?
Susquehanna River and Conowingo Dam Photo Credit: David Hobby
Baltimore police sources say there are no apparent signs of trauma on either body recovered late last week.
Experts note that drowning victims are more likely to sink than victims of foul play. Given the water temp death may have been in December and not until recently did the temperature increase to a point to cause bacteria to grow, causing the bodies to bloat and come to the surface.
Given the fact that both Ms. Barnes and the male victim were both completely nude and discovered at the same time police now admit that there may be a connection.
One source pointed out that he has never been aware of an incident in which two bodies were found in the same area on the same day. “It really is strange,” but “It may well be a sad coincidence.”
But some experts don't agree.
“They’re not just random bodies that happened to come together at this location, you just don’t find bodies popping up one after the next unless they hit the water at the same time.”
One theory in play is that a romantic alcohol or drug fueled encounter simply led to some poor choices, an accident and hypothermia followed by drowning.
Maryland State Police were seen checking several boat landings on Sunday perhaps in search of male victim's car. However State Police Dive Team often uses the river for training purposes.
This is a developing story and is subject to wide changes as more facts are known.
A Photo Essay Blog with photos of the area made during the last four months is here.
Cedar Posts Update:
The man's body found near the corpse of teenager Phylicia Barnes was identified today and police believe the second body has no connection to the girl's death.
The body of Darryl Harper, 53, of Richmond, Va., was discovered in the Susquehanna River last Wednesday hours after Maryland state troopers found Barnes' body three miles up the same river.
Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley told ABC News there is no known connection between Harper and Barnes.
"He had his own troubles and issues," Shipley said.
Forensics matched fingerprints from Harper's body with prints entered in a missing persons database.
Harper's wife told police her husband left Richmond in early March, and she reported him missing on April 15. Harper had checked himself into a hospital in Harrisburg, Pa., on the Susquehanna River on March 25 and requested help with mental health issues. Harper stayed in the hospital one night.
According to his wife, Harper made suicide threats to a relative in March, and he previously attempted suicide in 2006.
So that completely blows my above theory out of the water!
So how are these people getting naked? And who knows what happened to Ms. Barnes?
The waiting game continues.